I recently read Robert Samuelson’s article called, “Prius Politics”. In the article, the author suggests that the Prius is a “parable” for global warming politics and proposes that owning a Prius is more about fashion than being environmentally responsible.Lately there have been a few articles challenging the environmental premise of owning a Prius. I wonder why? Maybe it’s because the Prius is the symbol of “environmental correctness” and is one issue you can challenge without attracting outrage. And these days you cannot challenge too many politically correct issues and still keep your job. I own a Prius. When I was looking for a new car a few years ago, the Prius frankly was not high on my list. However, I went to a CERES conference and heard a compelling presentation on global climate change. The presentation was so alarming that I came home and decided to buy the Prius. There were not many hybrid choices at that time, so maybe I bought the Prius out of guilt? I do like the fact that the mileage or fuel economy is excellent and the exhaust emissions are very low. My wife and I even trade cars on days she plans to do a lot of driving. After I purchased the car, I found out about the tax break and just recently, the Prius was approved for HOV lanes across Arizona. These items make me feel better about my purchase. It’s pretty simple for me: the car gets excellent mileage, I save money on gas, it’s quiet, has low emissions, I can drive in the HOV lane, and I do feel some pride of ownership that I am trying to do the right thing for the environment. I don’t try to make judgments about what other people should or should not be driving, or how many kids they should have, or if they should eat meat or not. It’s not a religion for me, it’s just a car.
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